The scarf has long been fashion’s most underachieving accessory. Why? Because getting into the zone of high chic through knotting a scarf requires skill. More often than not, the results suggest an abandoned crafts project on Etsy.com–messy, lumpy, bulky, more at home on the potato-farm than on the boulevard.
Enter the new collection of exquisitely hand-painted, 100% silk scarves of artists Megan Pflug and Katie Wright-Buckley, offered through their company, CAIRO.
What defines these scarves from all others: the tiny, yet strong magnetic closure hidden inside the wrap. This speck of automatic attraction solves all of the above problems, and allows the wearer to bring the pointed edges of the scarf together cleanly, with no knowledge of basic seamanship or other survival skills beyond the realm of fashion.
Because of the magnet, the scarf lies flat against the skin, making it a smooth accent under a jacket or over a sleek sweater or trim tee.
The brand-name alludes to the supremely elegant Queen Nefertiti, who ruled Egypt in approximately 1350 BCE. Nefertiti’s iconic image features her long, swanlike neck, accented by her dynastic, wedge-shaped headdress and finely woven scarf. According to Brooklyn-based designers Pflug and Wright-Buckley, Nefertiti was the first to popularize the scarf as an object of status and personal expression. Appropriately, the Queen’s name means “The Beautiful One Has Arrived.”
The artists bring a background in painting and printmaking to the creation of these lush textiles. Cairo scarves are priced at $80 for a solid color, $120 for patterns, and $200 for a custom-painted wrap.
The idea was inspired by menswear tailoring, and the ingeniously high-function design makes the scarf neat, sleek, less fussy, and even more essential. The smooth closure makes anyone’s neck look longer, and more Nefertiti-like. And, just remember what happened to Isadora Duncan.